Paris Hilton Supports Puppy Mills

She probably didn't realize it at the time, but self-proclaimed animal rights activist Paris Hilton supported puppy mills with the purchase of her male chihuahua.

Paris bought her new best friend from a "pet store to the stars" in Los Angeles on July 25, 2007. I don't know where she got the infamous Tinkerbell or any other dog she may have, but the purhase of that one dog from the Pets of Bel Air allowed puppy mills and backyard breeders to indenture tens of other dogs into lifelong servitude of forced breeding.

When we buy that cute puppy in the pet store window, we're not just buying that puppy; we are feeding money into the industry of mass dog breeding, pet overpopulation, serious health problems, extreme animal abuse... the problem of puppy mills.

Paris' New Chihuahua

The pet store where Paris bought her chihuahua, Pets of Bel Air, publicly states on its website that it does not buy from puppy mills. They say that they only buy from "private" breeders, "both locally and out of state."

The Human Society of the United States' investigation of their store seems to differ. In the video below, employees of the pet store (including managers) state that they are instructed to repeat to customers that their dogs do not come from puppy mills and that they are not sick.

But HSUS' investigation continues by going to the "kennels" from which Pets of Bel Air buys their puppies. Interesting how abused those dogs are and how much those "kennels" appear to be puppy mills, huh?

Pets of Bel Air: Peddling Puppy Mill Pups

Pets of Bel Air's Defense

Recently, Pets of Bel Air posted a letter on the front page of their website, emphasizing that they do not "condone" puppy mills and are horrified at the Humane Society's footage.

They blame the USDA (who gives them their license to be high-volume animal brokers), who investigate the store's "breeders" for them. The store (and undoubtedly their lawyers) try to put all culpability on an understaffed governmental agency whose main concern is hardly with out-of-control dog breeding.

They also acknowledge that their license to sell animals has expired but insist that they are correcting the problem and will continue to run their business with "integrity."

Victims of Pets of Bel Air (Part 1)

Victim of Pets of Bel Air (Part 2)

What's Wrong With Puppy Mills?

If you're not convinced with the animal abuse issues of puppy mills, consider how buying a puppy mill dog will affect you, personally.

And in case you don't believe me, feel free to check out the testimonials of the families who bought from Pets of Bel Air in the videos to the right who were horrified when they realized the origins of their dogs and the issues they would cause.

  • He will break your heart. Imagine bringing a cuddly new puppy home, buying all his accessories and falling in love, and then having him die within the first few days with his new family. Imagine that the pet store blames you for your puppy getting sick.
  • He will be expensive right away. Reputably bred dogs are health insured by the breeder and have impeccably healthy parents. Puppy mill dogs come with the immediate problems of parvo, distemper, upper respiratory infections.
  • He will be expensive long-term. If they survive those issues, they can have sight and hearing problems that present after the pet store's "warranty" runs out, as well as hip and joint problems and any other breed-specific ailment that reputable breeders so intently avoid.
  • He can have serious behavioral issues. A reputable breeder socializes her puppies in the first few weeks of their lives to ensure they will love men, women, children, and other animals. Puppy mill dogs leave their mothers and littermates far before they are ready and are often fearful or aggressive.

But Paris' Puppy Didn't Die!

It's true, not every puppy mill puppy will die or have health/behavioral issues. Some pet-store-bought pups grow up to be happy adults and live with the same family their whole life.

But more of them get discarded after their new "homes" realize how much work a puppy is. They end up in shelters to be euthanized or on the streets. And the Pets of Bel Air doesn't even care; they already pocketed their profit on those pups and have moved on to the next ones.

And even if Paris' puppy didn't die or fall ill (and I doubt she'll rehome him; she has plenty of people to do the dirty work), by paying the pet store and the puppy mills thousands of dollars for her chihuahua, she doomed his parents and some of their offspring to be mass breeders for the rest of their lives.

What is a Reputable Breeder?

A reputable breeder breeds only with the intention of having healthy dogs who are up to "breed standard" and who will live out their lives in loving homes.

A reputable breeder does not breed two dogs until they have OFA and CERF certified them and done any other preventative test on the parents to make sure that they will not pass on any unwanted genetic predisposal to disease.

They will also not breed two dogs together until they have set up homes for all the puppies. That's right! No breeding until homes have been set up for more puppies than could possibly come from a litter.

Then why would a "reputable breeder" sell to a puppy store?

The answer? They wouldn't. No reputable breeder sells their puppies through a third-party. Ever. It is written into the code of ethics of most breed clubs in the United States to never sell through a third-party because the breeder cannot insure that the puppy is going to a good home.

As for Paris' chihuahua? According to the Chihuahua Breed Club's Code of Ethics, they agree never to sell their puppies to a third party. No reputable chihuahua breeder sold that dog to Pets of Bel Air. Paris' puppy came from a puppy mill.

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So Let's Stop Them!

It'd be pretty great if we could stop puppy mills. At least then we would only have backyard breeders to contend with. But the only way to stop them is to make owning a puppy mill unprofitable. And the only way to do that is to educate everyone.

Does your family member want a puppy? Are they planning on getting one from a puppy store? Tell them why they shouldn't! There are plenty of other ways to get a puppy who will be just as cute and won't be supporting a disgusting industry!

If they don't believe you, tell them to YouTube "puppy mills" or send them to this website! The only way to beat them is to get the word out, support legislation, and encourage everyone you know to get their dogs in responsible ways.

Paris Hilton may have bought her dogs from pet stores, but now you know better. Spread the word.

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Comments 23 comments

Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 8 years ago from Georgia

That little girl's sty is heart-breaking. This is the cause to puppy mills. It's ridiculous.


helenathegreat profile image

helenathegreat 8 years ago from Manhattan Author

Well hey, if Paris Hilton's dog is from that store, then I want to buy MY dog from that store, too!! Ugh.

Yes, that little girl recounting the story breaks my heart, too. I feel very sad that she went through that; hopefully she tells all her friends at school about it so it won't happen to any of them...


WeddingConsultant profile image

WeddingConsultant 8 years ago from DC Metro Area

Helena, you've got yet another captivating hub here. The great, captivating subject line drew me right in!

More on topic- what a sad, sad situation. Everytime a news report comes on about puppy mills my wife is drawn to tears. It breaks our hearts. That's why we chose to go to the pound to get our two cats and that's why we'll go there to get our dogs in the future!


helenathegreat profile image

helenathegreat 8 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks for your kind words, WeddingConsultant. If you liked THAT title, you'll love the one I'm working on right now!! ;)

Puppy mills are a sad situation, but I'm always glad when they're on the news; we need more of that! The pound is a great place to get a dog, and so are reputable rescues (that's where I got mine). Those dogs know you rescued them and love you even more for it.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

Thanks for the great information. Your hub puts a new light on "How much is that doggie in the window?" The cost is so much more than the sign says...add the cost of the pain and suffering endured by both animals and humans.


helenathegreat profile image

helenathegreat 8 years ago from Manhattan Author

Absolutely, Sally. The cost usually extends across the country, causing even more puppies to die in shipping or to be doomed to walk on thin wires all their lives and breed several times a year. It's just not worth it; there are plenty of other puppies out there who want homes!


davud 8 years ago

stupid little girl


NocturNalis78 profile image

NocturNalis78 7 years ago from Baguio City, Philippines

Consider the source, Paris Hilton? She is a dumb-ass spoiled bimbo with no redeemable qualities and nothing more. There are animal shelters everwhere with wonderful animals that would be so thankful to you for adopting them and they will gladly show it. I rescued my 2 cats off of the streets of Manila and they are two of the coolest creatures I have ever had the pleasure of befriending. My dog is a mixed breed that I recently adopted from a neighbor that had too many to handle. The problem out here in the Philippines is a totally different battle, that of street animals- they're everywhere and it's a real shame that hardly anyone is doing anything about it. How bold are we to think that we can decide the fate of all species on earth? Thank you for this great hub.


helenathegreat profile image

helenathegreat 7 years ago from Manhattan Author

Hey, NocturNalis, thanks for the comment! Street animals are much less of a problem in the U.S. than they are in so many other countries like the Philippines and India. But just because it's a less visible problem does not mean it goes away, and that seems to be what many people think.


meagan 7 years ago

open your eyes! *believe 0% of what you hear and half of what you see* and to consider none of you have seen paris neglect her dog you shouldn't be talking! yes that pet store might use puppy mills and that is 100% wrong. paris didn't know at the time! leave her along she has other things to worry about then what you are saying about her and her puppies!


helenathegreat profile image

helenathegreat 7 years ago from Manhattan Author

Meagan, you are completely right; most of what I say about Paris Hilton in this article is heresay and conjecture. But at the same time, she has a big responsibility with all the attention she calls to herself (note other extremely rich heiresses who work hard and keep their heads down, like Ivanka Trump). With that responsibility, she could be doing great things, or at least living as a relatively okay role model. If you want to get a dog and keep my respect, do it through any of the many proper channels (reputable breeder, rescue, shelter, etc) and get the dog because you want a DOG, not an accessory. Then I won't call you stupid. Behave like Paris, and yes, you run the risk that I might flame you in a hub.

But like you said, I'm pretty sure Paris Hilton could care less what I have to say about her irresponsible pet ownership, so this article isn't for her. :)


paul2cool 7 years ago

wow ,when the name paris hilton is shown ,everyone comments how lol-able


ozarkhorse 7 years ago

This is too funny. Dogs don't have puppies several times a year. There is a law that they cannot be up on small wires either. You are listening to old wives tales. USDA regulates the dog breeders that sell to pet stores. Puppies have to pass a health certification by a licensed vet before they can be shipped. Not ALL dog breeders operate liked unlicensed kennels do. Did you know that the HSUS has vegetarian recipes on their website? The president of HSUS is a vegetarian. Did you know that they have publicly stated that they intend to abolish the production of animals in this country? ALL production.... hobby breeders included! Do you know the pet industry in the USA is 45.4 BILLION dollars in 2009? Do you know who that will involve? That includes crate manufacturers, dog food manufacturers, vets, dog breeders, fence companies, airlines, transporting companies, website creators, websites that sell puppies, dog registries etc etc etc. Did you know there are 412 million pets residing in American homes today? Our rights will be gone soon to own a dog or cat. If the public doesn't figure this out soon, or forever hold your peace.


helenathegreat profile image

helenathegreat 7 years ago from Manhattan Author

ozarkhorse, I'm not sure what your point is.  What does the HSUS president's vegetarianism have to do with anything?  Are you trying to... discredit him?  Yes, many animal lovers think that we should not be breeding any animals at all, for pets or food or anything.  It doesn't surprise me at all that the HSUS publicly states that, but they do not have that power.  I wouldn't be too worried about losing your right to own a pet any time soon if I were you.

I'm not sure what about puppy mills is "funny" to you.  Yes, they are illegal.  That's the point.  To get a license that the USDA distributes, though, is not as difficult as it should be.  Plenty of people start out with just a few dogs, get one of those licenses, and then expand into a puppy mill.  But when an inspector comes, they clean up and make it passable just for the day.  These are not "old wives tales;" they are realities.  Sorry that is amusing to you.


ZealousWriter profile image

ZealousWriter 7 years ago

Thanks so much for your hub. I'm not experienced at all in being a dog-owner, and I was wanting to get a new pup around 8 weeks old to welcome into the family.

Your hub helped ALOT. I never would've known. So thank you so much again.

I do have a question still, however, how do you find a reputable breeder who loves the pups he/she takes care of? How would you hear of them? And will they give away pups around 8 weeks old? Take care.


ZealousWriter profile image

ZealousWriter 7 years ago

Sorry, double posting.


helenathegreat profile image

helenathegreat 7 years ago from Manhattan Author

Hi ZealousWriter. Your question is a GREAT one! I actually have a whole hub about finding a reputable breeder. Most of them home their pups between 8 and 12 weeks old. Check it out.

http://hubpages.com/animals/ReputableBreeder

Thanks for the comment!


pet owner 7 years ago

Puppy mills are really bad news. They are responsible for the death of approximately 10 million animals each year. Support local shelters and and lend your time- http://www.petplaypals.com/ to a cause that supports the welfare of animals.


kartika damon profile image

kartika damon 7 years ago from Fairfield, Iowa

Why didn't Paris get a puppy from a shelter and save a dog? The other point here is now puppy mills are breeding little designer dogs because the stars all have them and the public then buys them from the puppy mills - completely crazy! Kartika


libby101a profile image

libby101a 5 years ago from KY

Puppy mills are horrible! One should never buy a pet from a pet store!

I thinks its crazy to defend Paris Hilton like one poster did above! She put herself in the spot-lite! Everything she does is public! She owns 17 dogs, I think, and didn't one die because she locked it in a closet?


aljendro gondez 5 years ago

Aweeeeee


Joanne 4 years ago

I don't agree with puppy mills, but people seem to think that EVERY pet shop or online pet shop buys from these puppy mills which is not true. It is sad yes and they should stop these puppy farms but people need to stop blowing things out of proportion and make out that every one that sells cute puppies do it for money and profit. There is no hard evidence that Paris Hilton or any other celeb for that matter even support these puppy mills and I'm sure they do not. You guys don't even know what your talking about! Ever heard of bs and hear say? I for one adore puppies and have four beautiful healthy Chihuahua's I love every one of them and they are all spoilt with love. You shouldn't beleive everything you read in the papers.


Joanne 4 years ago

...PS All breeders breed to make profit. All of the KC registered "reputable breeder" it doesn't mean anything. People are so very naïve.

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